waterford-regional-hospital-scenes-junior-doctors-disputes-strike-health-crisis-in-ireland-2-390x285UNIVERSITY Hospital Waterford
(UHW) will remain a ‘busy
and vibrant’ hospital despite the
‘negative commentary’ which it
has been subjected to in recent
weeks, according to its General
In an email circulated to UHW
staff last week, Richard Dooley
recognised the requirement of
both internal and external forces
to highlight “the challenges and
issues in the hospital sector”. But
he added: “It is also very important
however that we acknowledge
and highlight the positives
such as the volume and range of
service being provided in UHW
by our professional and compassionate
workforce. This is
crucial both for staff morale and
for the public’s confi dence in our
The current status of UHW, and
the provision of health in both the
city and region dominated TV3’s
‘The People’s Debate’, fi lmed at
the Tower Hotel on Monday night
last and screened two nights later
(See News 10).
Mr Dooley told colleagues
that UHW is “not always alerted
to (public or media debate) or
afforded the opportunity to contribute
to the discussion,” which
appears to have prompted this
comprehensive, 1600-word
Describing the following as “signifi cant achievements,”
Richard Dooley notes that 60,000
people were treated in UHW’s
Emergency Department last year,
along with 22,000 day procedures,
150,000 Out-Patient visits,
the treatment of 23,000 people as
In-patients and the births of 2,100
babies at its Maternity Unit.
“This is a signifi cant achievement
and we are set to treat
approximately the same number
of people again in 2015,” he
Mr Dooley
added: “We know that there are
additional resources required
and a number of planned developments
we want to see come to
fruition. I can assure you that the
case will continue to be made,
vigorously, and on your behalf in
those respects.”
Planning permission for the
long-awaited palliative care unit
at UHW was announced last
week as part of a €20 million
fi ve-storey extension to be built
at the front of the hospital, facing
onto Ardkeen Roundabout.
“The building will comprise
of a Palliative Care Inpatient unit
(21 beds) and Day Care Unit on
the fi rst and second fl oor,” wrote
Mr Dooley.
“We are extremely grateful
to the Waterford Hospice
Movement for their signifi cant
contribution to this project and
their ongoing support and collaboration
on this very important
development for the people of
the South East.
“The top three fl oors of the
new build will include 72 single
rooms – greatly increasing
the availability of this type of
accommodation and increased
capacity for patient services in
On the hotly debated Cardiac
Catherisation Laboratory (Cath
Lab), Mr Dooley stated that it
is open fi ve days a week from
8.30am to 5.30pm but added: “It
is important to note, however,
that there is 24 hour, seven day
a week consultant medical cover
for cardiac patients (and all
medical patients) in UHW.
“Approximately 40 invasive
cardiovascular procedures are
performed each week, including
Percutaneous Coronary
Intervention (PCI), pacemaker
and cardioverter defi brillator
The number of procedures
has increased year on year from
898 carried out when the service
was fi rst established in 2008
(May to Dec) to 2,836 carried
out in 2014. Patients who may
require stents (as part of the PCI
service) following a heart attack
are looked after in the Cath Lab
in UHW.”
Re-emphasising UHW’s and
the South/South West Hospital
New Consultant posts “to come on stream” Group’s commitment to extend
invasive cardiology services and
posts in Waterford including the
development of a second Cath
Lab, Mr Dooley stated: “Submissions
to this effect (including
for a fourth Consultant Interventionalist
Cardiologist) have
already been developed and submitted
for inclusion in the 2016
service planning process.”
Regarding consultant recruitment,
Richard Dooley confi rmed
that “regional dermatology services
are being restored” at UHW,
with one Consultant Dermatologist
having returned from leave,
and two more due to arrive “by
the end of the summer”.
Two Consultant Urologists
were recently appointed at the
hospital: one began work in
April and the second is due to
take up next week.
A second neurologist took
up a position at UHW in April
and approval has been received
for the recruitment of a fourth
Obstetrician and a fourth
Medical Oncologist and Clinical
Nurse Specialist.
However, hopes to recruit the
ninth and 10th Orthopaedic post
are both at submission stage,
while a funding submission for a
fi fth Ear Nose & Throat appointment
is, according to Mr Dooley,
“In addition, a number of
posts have been replaced following
in surgery and radiology and
a process to replace Vascular
and Histopathology posts is
Additional nursing and
midwifery recruitment was
described as being “underway”,
“including a number of newly
funded posts to support new
services” while a pilot clinical
pharmacy project has led to the
appointment of four pharmacists
“to work full-time on a number
of wards.”